The Great Performances

Acting is an art form, and behind every iconic character is an artist expressing themselves. The Great Performances is a recurring column in which Jacob Trussell explores the art behind some of cinema’s best roles.

If you are new to reading this column, we suggest starting with these entries:

Browse the archive for The Great Performances below

Michael Shannon Take Shelter

An Ode to Michael Shannon in ‘Take Shelter’


Sometimes a great performance is made in the quietest moments.

Jeon Do Yeon in Secret Sunshine

The Power of Jeon Do-yeon’s Silence in ‘Secret Sunshine’


Jeon delivers a jaw-dropping performance as a grieving mother.

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Freddie Miles Talented Mr Ripley

The Talented Mr. Hoffman: Philip Seymour Hoffman as Freddie Miles


Stealing every scene he appears in, Hoffman’s performance in ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ is an early career triumph.

Anthony Perkins Psycho

Anthony Perkins Will Always Frighten Us in ‘Psycho’


60 years ago, ‘Psycho’ set the gold standard for handsome homicidal maniacs. In this column, Jacob Trussell explores Anthony Perkins’ performance as Norman Bates.

Kane Hodder

Kane Hodder Breathed Life Into Jason Voorhees


Hodder was the first actor to make the undead icon from ‘Friday the 13th’ suddenly feel alive.

The Shining

Jack Nicholson Originated the Nicolas Cage Freakout In ‘The Shining’


Yes, we know, Stanley Kubrick’s film isn’t like Stephen King’s novel, but we’re just here for Nicholson’s raging Jack Torrance!


When ‘Zoolander’ Lifted Our Spirits Amidst a National Emergency


Released just two weeks after 9/11, Ben Stiller’s dopey male model movie made us laugh, even when we thought we couldn’t.

Adjani Possession

Isabelle Adjani is Not an Internet Meme


We take a closer look at the most famous scene from Andrzej Żuławski’s ode to divorce, depression, and H.P. Lovecraft: ‘Possession’.

Jackie Brown

The Powerful Presence of Pam Grier in ‘Jackie Brown’


Absolute authenticity has always been the Blaxploitation legend’s greatest strength.